International Club serves up culture

Last years International Club officers at the 2017 Taste of UMD Potluck. Top row, left to right: Gavin Nord, Mela Nguyen, Bebe Ugwu, Kristia Gonzales Bottom row, left to right: Farhan Ahmed, Levi Staine, Kupa Madzima Photo courtesy International Club

Last years International Club officers at the 2017 Taste of UMD Potluck.
Top row, left to right: Gavin Nord, Mela Nguyen, Bebe Ugwu, Kristia Gonzales
Bottom row, left to right: Farhan Ahmed, Levi Staine, Kupa Madzima
Photo courtesy International Club

The International Club will be holding their annual “Taste of UMD” potluck Saturday, Nov. 10. The potluck will feature culturally diverse dishes provided by over 20 students and will take place at Duluth’s Hope United Methodist Church from 12-2 p.m.

“It’s a potluck made by UMD students,” International Club Public Relations officer Manjul Sharma said.

According to Sharma, the main aim of the event is to connect UMD students and the Duluth community with food from different cultures. The club also strives to provide a friendly environment where everyone can talk to each other.

“It’s just a great way to know other cultures through food,” Andrea Molano, secretary of International Club, said. “There are many ways to get to know a culture but food is important to every single culture. It’s just like different ways people make food, different spices they use, different ingredients, and the variety of it that just shows you how diverse the world can be.”

Sharma stated that those actually making food tend to have a good experience.

“You get to share your culture, share your food and what you made for everyone,” Sharma said. “For me as an international student, when I came here last year, I went to the potluck. It’s an eye opening experience because you get to meet new people and eat food at the same time. I made a bunch of friends. It’s a fun community event.”

According to International Club President Michelle Quach the University for Seniors wants to collaborate this year as well.

Quach also said they are currently recruiting chefs and will be providing supply run rides to local grocery stores the week of the event.

Dominic Bisogno and Suenary Philavanh at the 2017 potluck. It was Philavanh’s second year at the event. The first year she was a chef with her student organization Asian Pacific American Association. The second year she went to support the event. Photo courtesy International Club

Dominic Bisogno and Suenary Philavanh at the 2017 potluck. It was Philavanh’s second year at the event. The first year she was a chef with her student organization Asian Pacific American Association. The second year she went to support the event. Photo courtesy International Club

“We are also setting up the church Friday night and driving all the chefs and volunteers to the event the morning of, with the help of [International Student Services],” Quach said.

Taste of UMD takes place at Duluth’s Hope United Methodist Church on W. St. Marie St. The event is free, there is no dress code and all are welcome.

“Just show up,” Sharma said.

International Club does not expect community members to bring food.

“[Taste of UMD is] just a great way to get to know other people and other cultures in a safe environment where you can feel safe about asking questions,” Molano said.

A previous version of this article had the wrong date. A correction was made.

CultureZack Benz